Welcome folks, we’re still in the G’s for our Scouting Reports, this time moving from the sunny Gold Coast all the way down to NSW to take a look at the GWS Giants.
Now entering their 3rd season in the competition, they’ll have some serious work to do to catch up to what the Suns managed to achieve in their 3rd AFL season (8 wins), but they were such a poor side last year there’s really no other way to go but up (Unless they manage to lose every game in 2014!).
GWS have been a good source of rookies for us these past two years, about the only good thing they’ve managed to give us in Supercoach, but that run, like it was for Gold Coast this year, is looking like drying up for the moment as more players cement their places in the best 22 and spots are tougher to win. They’ve cleared out a lot of talent from the side this off-season, but they’ve also brought in more capable senior support in players like Mumford, Shaw and Hunt who will all likely slot straight into the 22 for the Giants.
Now, let’s get going on taking a look at the GWS Giants for 2014
Greater Western Sydney Giants 2014 Supercoach Scouting Report
2013 Record: 1 wins, 21 losses
INSJosh Hunt (Traded from Geelong)
Shane Mumford (Traded from Sydney)
Heath Shaw (Traded from Collingwood)
Zachary Williams (Promoted Rookie)
Thomas Boyd (Pick #1, National Draft)
Joshua Kelly (Pick #2, National Draft)
Cameron McCarthy (Pick #14, National Draft)
Rory Lobb (Pick #29, National Draft)
Jake Barrett (Pick #97, National Draft)
Jed Lamb (Pick #1, Pre-Season Draft)
Sam Schulz (Pick #1, Rookie Draft)
Taylor Adams (Traded to Collingwood)
Kurt Aylett (Traded to Essendon)
Josh Bruce (Traded to St. Kilda)
Sam Darley (Traded to Western Bulldogs)
Shaun Edwards (Traded to Essendon)
Dom Tyson (Traded to Melbourne)
Josh Growden (Delisted)
Anthony Miles (Delisted)
Sentanta O’hAilpin (Delisted)
Sam Reid (Delisted)
Bret Thornton (Delisted)
Gerald Ugle (Delisted)
Dean Brogan (Retired)
Chad Cornes (Retired)
2014 Team Preview
2014 Bye Round: 9
Final 4: Fremantle Dockers, Carlton Blues, Hawthorn Hawks, Brisbane Lions
2013 was a tough year for the Giants, only managing the 1 win for the season, beating the Dees by 37 in Round 19. GWS will be looking to eclipse their win total from their debut season (2) and will be hoping they can begin their climb up the ladder and to start their journey to becoming, what many expect to be an AFL powerhouse of a team.
They’ll begin 2014 with their new coach Leon Cameron in charge after inaugural coach Kevin Sheedy stepped down, moving on to a position on the GWS Board of Directors. There are a lot of promising pieces already in place for the Giants, with the fearsome forward line of Jeromy Cameron (3rd on the Coleman medal count with 62 goals in 2013) and the returning Jonathan Patton set to be joined by this years #1 pick in the 200cm, 103kg, 18 year old Tom Boyd. Add in the recruitment of senior player in Shane Mumford, Heath Shaw and Josh Hunt and they should be able to take a bit of the load of the younger players to maybe help them improve in 2014.
2014 Projected Wins/Losses: 3 wins, 19 losses
It may be the only time we hit this in our previews, but I can’t see there being any single player from the GWS Giants that you absolutely need to have in your SC side in 2014. The Giants failed to produce a single player to average 100+, with Callan Ward being the only player to average 90+ with an SC average of 97.33, and only two other players managed to average between 80-90 with Adam Treloar averaging 87.05 and the now retired Dean Brogan averaging 85.80. The simple fact was that the Giants didn’t have enough of the football for their players to produce great SC scores with them ranking 17th for total team disposals, and on average saw the ball 57.5 less than their opponents during 2013, with their highest possession winner being Adam Treloar who averaged 24 disposals a game. Also with the increased rookie costs, there will be many that also skip the #1 and #2 picks in Tom Boyd and Jake Kelly this year, so they may not even provide us with some cheap rookies for us to generate some cash with like they have previously.
We’re going to take a look at a bunch of further options to consider for your Supercoach sides, but a lot of them are looking like they’ll only be for those who are looking for a POD type player as I’m still not smelling as many potential blistering breakout players like the Gold Coast Suns have on offer. Not yet at least.
2012 SC Average: 90.9
2013 SC Average: 91.9
Starting Price: 496K
Part 1 of the Sydney Swans players who’ve defected to the Giants, Mumford will once again be looking at timeshare duties in the ruck, this time splitting with Jonathan Giles, rather than Mike Pyke. Still, he’s been a very consistent scorer the past 4 years, with 3 years averaging 90+ and in 2011 averaged a career high 112.6. As said before, Mumford was splitting the ruck with Pyke in Sydney, that 112.6 he averaged was one season where he was the sole ruckman, and when Pyke came into the side full-time in 2012 it had a big effect on his scores, with his hitout numbers going from 34.8 in 2011 all the way down to 26.4 in 2013 and his hitouts to advantage falling also going from 10.1 in 2011 to 6.2 in 2013.
So that’s probably the biggest thing to consider for 2014, if he goes in as the sole ruckman, he should jump up into a lock category as he’s shown us that he can carry the ruck load solo (much like Todd Goldstein for North Melbourne) and can put up top of the line points while he’s at it (That 2011 average would have put him right up there with Goldstein and Minson last year). It’ll be interesting to see if GWS play both Mumford and Giles considering they have Cameron, Patton and now Boyd pencilled in up forward. That’d leave them awfully top heavy if they then decided to rotate a ruckman forward also, which plenty of teams are planning on doing due to the new interchange cap, unless they plan on moving one of Patton or Cameron down back fulltime?
Anyway, keep an eye on Mumford, he’s currently on my wait and see list, if it looks like he’ll be given big minutes in the ruck department I may very well lock him in as my lead ruckman for 2014. Even if he once again time shares, he’ll still be good for the same sort of average he produced the last two years at Sydney.
2014 SC Projection: 90-98
2012 SC Average: 75.3
2013 SC Average: 75.5
Starting Price: 407.4K
Shiel had an almost repeat performance on his 2012 numbers, posting a .2 increase in his Supercoach average and averaging almost exactly the same in kicks, handballs, averaging 19.6 disposals, as well as 3 marks and 3.3 tackles. Shiel lead the Giants in Inside 50’s with 3.4 and ranked in the top 4 for disposals, contested possessions, clearances and tackles for the club.
The key to Shiel improving his scores is simple; he just needs to find more of the ball. Shiel had 6 games with 24-29 disposals in 2013 and his average in those games was 103.6, so we know that if he can find the pill, he’ll do enough with it to put up some very good SC scores for us. He’s still a kid though, he’ll be turning 21 at the start of the 2014 season and he was a terrific player in his junior days, so he’s one of the GWS kids that are just gagging to become a breakout player for us. He could be a potential bolter for the Giants in 2014.
2014 SC Projection: 88-94
2012 SC Average: 106.5
2013 SC Average: 97.3
Starting Price: 525K
One of the few youngsters for the Giants who haven’t completely struggled with being in such a young and inexperienced side, Ward has been the best player for the Giants in Supercoach in both 2012 and 2013. He recorded averages of 23.3 disposals, 4.5 marks, 4.5 tackles and 4.5 tackles (he sure does seem to love that number) in 2013, he also lead the Giants in Supercoach points and was 10 points clear of the clubs next best player.
Ward spent a bit more time as an outside midfielder this year, his contested numbers going from 12.4 and 50.9% of his total disposals in 2012 to 10.4 and 43.3% of his total disposals being recorded as contested possessions. Won 67% of his disposals in the back half, this was the highest percentage of the top 50 ball winning midfielders in the AFL, this is a tough one to judge as the ball obviously spent a lot of time in the oppositions forward 50, so it makes sense he’d see a lot of the ball in that area of the ground.
He will be a player a lot of Supercoachers decide to skip, either going for a slightly more expensive or cheaper option, but he’ll be one to consider if you’re looking for a quality mid priced POD for your midfield.
2014 SC Projection: 96-104
2012 SC Average: 101.2
2013 SC Average: 96.9
Starting Price: 522.6K
Heater has been one of the most frustrating Supercoach players for many people, a player who is capable of putting up terrific Supercoach scores on his good days; he’s also prone to wetting the bed 3-4 times a year as well. The Mad Irishman has written a terrific “Turncoat” column about Heath Shaw earlier, so you should definitely go and check that out now if you’re considering Shaw for 2014.
Shaw was a weird player to peg last year; his scores very much depended on who the Pies were playing and if they won or not. One thing is for sure, he loved beating up on the weaker teams in the league, and averaged 111 against the 9-18 placed sides, but could only manage an average of 78 against the sides that finished in the Top 8. He also recorded a +34 average point differential in wins compared to losses, an alarming stat when you consider he’s going from a team that has won 30 games in 2 years to a team that’s won 3 games in 2 years.
No one doubts Shaw’s ability as a player, but his role as one of the few experienced players in the GWS side means he’ll likely be targeted, and we’ve seen in the past that Shaw doesn’t put up the greatest scores if he receives a forward tag. I know many may go his direction due to the new team and the fact the football will likely spend a lot of time in the Giants defensive 50, but I think the best bet at this stage is to pick a safer option like Mitchell in your initial side, and leave Shaw on your scouting list throughout the season to see how he’s going and use him as a mid-season upgrade if he’s showing some form.
2014 SC Projection: 92-98
2012 SC Average: 94.6
2013 SC Average: 73.2
Starting Price: 394.6K
Previously in the Gold Coast column we talked about the advantage their young midfield had playing with Gary Ablett because it meant they were less likely to be tagged, lest you let Ablett off the chain. Well, Toby Greene was in the exact opposite situation last year, and his scores suffered for it. With no other standout senior midfielders in the side, oppositions targeted Greene as GWS’s most dangerous midfielder and they tagged the bajeezus out of him, forcing Coach Sheedy to move Greene out of the midfield and down back and even using him as a tagger himself.
Greene recorded 7 scores of 100+ Supercoach Points in 2012; he couldn’t manage a single triple digit score in 2013. Also recorded 9 games of 30 or more possessions in 2012, a feat he could only manage the once in 2013 with Greene recording 31 disposals in Round 21 against Brisbane, a game that only netted him 91 Supercoach Points.
Forgetting the fact he suffered decreases in disposals and clearances due to the tags and role changes, the biggest issue Greene had was his dismal disposal efficiency, recording a kicking efficiency of only 50.3%, while averaging 11.9 kicks per game, which was almost half of his 22.8 disposals per game. As we’ve seen with Nathan Fyfe, you won’t ever become a elite Supercoach player when you have a disposal % in the 50’s, and also like Fyfe, Greene found himself among the top players in the clanger count, ranking 8th for Total Clangers and 4th in Clangers per game.
Now even with all that out of the way, Greene has shown he’s quite skilled at finding the pill if he’s given the freedom to do so and if he’s given the opportunity to move on-ball again and doesn’t get tagged again, he could very well repeat his 2011 scores. If that occurs he could be a nice little money generator for your side and if he can become a 500K player again he’d only be a cheap upgrade trade to grabbing a premium midfielder in your side.
2014 SC Projection: 90-96
2012 SC Average: 83.2
2013 SC Average: 87.0
Starting Price: 469.5K
The top possession winner for the Giants in 2013, don’t let the fact that he looks like a 12 year old schoolboy fool you, this kid can play. Treloar notched improvements in a number of areas in his 2nd year, posting better stats in disposals, contested possessions, clearances and tackles, all of which are excellent sources of Supercoach Points. His 9 contested possessions a game still only accounted for 37.5% of his total though, so he’s still very much prone to playing outside most of the time.
Played 20 games last season and had 20+ possessions 18 times, so he’s shown he can be a consistent player the majority of the time, so I think the biggest thing for Treloar is just gaining more experience out there on the field. He’s likely to be the #1 midfielder again for the Giants in 2014, so he’s not likely to be taking a step back in terms of Supercoach output soon. Dermie Brereton reckons this kid reminds him of a quicker Mark Ricciuto, which is high praise indeed.
2014 SC Projection: 88-95
2012 SC Average: N/A
2013 SC Average: 14
Starting Price: 123.9K
Last years #2 draft pick, O’Rourke may be in the majority of Supercoach teams next year simply for the fact that he’s a high draft pick who won’t have the additional rookie price added on to his starting price like this year’s draftees. He only got a very brief taste of AFL football last year, playing 1 game in Round 16 and only put up a very disappointing 14 Supercoach Points. Still, he did have his good points, recording 22 pressure acts during the game; this is helped by the fact he’s a good runner, recording a 15.09 in the AFL Victoria’s TAC Cup Fitness Testing Day. He showed some good clearance and running skills in the NEAFL, but disappointingly saw his kicking efficiency average fall from 76% during the Under 18 Championships to 59% in the NEAFL.
Have heard a few people think he may be used as a tagger next year since he’s showing a very good level of endurance and also showing some skills at applying pressure to his opponent, this will drastically reduce the level of output we can expect from him if it does happen, but since he’s so cheap compared to other rookies, we still may take a chance on him anyway. Think of scores we saw from Brent Mcaffer last year, he bobbed up with the occasional decent score, but was limited to scores in the 60’s the majority of the year. O’Rourke will be good for some cash generation, but not much else if the tagger role pans out.
2014 SC Projection: 60-65
2012 SC Average: N/A
2013 SC Average: 45
Starting Price: 244.5K
The 2nd Swan to move west to the Giants, Lamb was taken with the 1st pick in the Pre-Season Draft, and will be an excellent small addition to the giant forward line GWS currently posses. Played 12 games for the Swans last year, but was started as a sub 5 times during that span, so we’ll need to dig a bit deeper than just the initial 45 point average to get a real sense of his SC output., if we take away his sub games and look at just the 7 full games he received, his average is sitting at 68.28, which is a slightly better and more realistic look for his Supercoach average. He did put up some decent scores in 2013, with two scores in the 70’s and two scores in the 80’s, so it was the 3 games sub 60 games that dragged his non-sub average down.
He showed some excellent form during his NEAFL games, playing through the midfield and averaging 27 disposals, 6 I50’s, 7 tackles and 1 goal. He probably won’t get much, if any, midfield time for the Giants, but he knows how to find the ball, and knows what to do with it when he has it. With the talls like Patton and Cameron the Giants have, there will be plenty of spill for a small guy like Lamb to pick from, so he could be a very handy little small forward to have out on the field. The forward pressure he’ll provide will be invaluable to the Giants also. I normally stay away from small forwards in Supercoach, but at his price he’s one I’m really taking a look at and I may take a punt and put him in my initial side.
2014 SC Projection: 68-74
2012 SC Average: N/A
2013 SC Average: N/A
Starting Price: 217.3K
The #1 pick from this years AFL Draft, Boyd is another big forward for the GWS Giants. The Giants already possess two KPF’s in their side in Patton and Cameron, with Cameron showing how good he’ll be kicking 62 goals in only his 2nd year in the AFL and Patton returning from a torn ACL in 2014, so it will be interesting to see how he works in a forward line with them, where he won’t be the main focus all the time like in his junior days. And he certainly did dominate in his junior days, recording averages of 16 disposals, 8 marks, 4.5 goals and 145 Supercoach Points during the 6 games he played for the Eastern Rangers during the TAC Cup.
One thing is for sure, Boyd is a big man, coming in at 201cm and 102kgs, an absolute enormous size for an 18 year old, he’s bigger than both Cameron and Patton, which is double impressive since they’ve been in the AFL system 2 years longer than Boyd as well.
There has been whispers of the Giants moving one of Patton or Cameron down back to open a spot up forward for Boyd, even if that does happen I’m not expecting huge scores from a KPF in his first season. He’ll have an easier time than Cameron did since he’ll have another tall target to take some attention off him up forward though. I’m sure there will be plenty of people that consider picking him because he’ll have a chance for some big scores when he gets going, and will generate a bit of cash, plus will likely play from Round 1. I’d likely go for Jesse Hogan first up since he has a year of VFL experience under his belt, but a case can be made for Boyd also.
2014 SC Projection: 56-62
2012 SC Average: N/A
2013 SC Average: N/A
Starting Price: 212.3K
This years #2 draft pick, Kelly will be an expensive prospect to add to your midfield, with a hefty rookie pricetag of 212K. Boyd recorded some terrific numbers during the U18 Championships, where he averaged 27.3 disposals, 5,3 marks, 3.3 clearances and 4.3 tackles and during the TAC Cup, where he posed averages of 29.2 disposals, 4 marks, 5 I50’s, 3.8 clearances and 5.2 tackles.
Kelly should have a tank big enough to hit the ground running in the AFL, recording the 2nd fastest 3km time trial at the AFL Draft Combine as well as finishing 9th in the beep test. His increased rookie price of 212K makes him a slightly awkward buy as there’s players who plenty of young players who are priced around the same price, who’ve got more experience than him, but I still think there will be more than a few Supercoachers that go in with Kelly in their midfield. Lachie Whitfield put up some decent stats last year, and Kelly is good enough to repeat those same sort of averages in 2014.
2014 SC Projection: 66-72
2012 SC Average: 79.4
2013 SC Average: 73.5
Starting Price: 396.6K
The prized recruit for the GWS Giants initial side, Scully hasn’t lived up to the expectations that come with being a #1 draft pick and being paid a reported 7 figure salary. This isn’t all completely his fault as players can’t control when they’re drafted and I don’t think there’d be a 20 year old alive who’d turn down a million dollars, but overall he’s been a very disappointing player for the Giants. He’s still young though and has always had the pressure of being expected to carry his side’s midfield, a tough task for any midfielder to accomplish when he doesn’t have any decent senior support to help carry the load.
Still, many Supercoachers would be discouraged to see Scully average his lowest disposal count of his career at 18 per game, the first time his dipped below the 20 mark and his clearances dropping to 1.8, the first time they’ve dipped below 2 a game. He’s 22 and has played 71 games; a stage where we start expecting midfielders to explode it’s disheartening to see him actually start to be on a downward trend at this point of his career.
He should see his scores improve a bit on 2013 as those around him improve, but there are plenty of young options in the GWS midfield to pick from, so I think your money will be better spent elsewhere in 2014.
2014 SC Projection: 78-84
2012 SC Average: 45.3
2013 SC Average: 56.0
Starting Price: 241.6K
Patton hasn’t had much of a go at AFL football, only playing 10 games in his first two years of AFL football. He missed the first 11 games in his debut season with Patellar tendinitis; he then played 7 consecutive games between rounds 12 and 19, but never scored more than 1 goal a game, or had more than 8 possessions per game. He did start to show some improvement in his first 2 games in 2013, kicking 3 goals in Round 1 and then kicking 1.3 in Round 2, but also managed 13 possessions; however in his 3rd game of the year, Patton suffered a torn ACL and missed the rest of 2013. His 2 round average sat at 71, which puts him almost on par with what Cameron averaged over 2013.
2 games isn’t a big enough sample size to base a Supercoach selection from though and with the usual “skip KPF’s” rule in place, the fact you can buy a Danniher, Hawkins or Clark for around the same price and the fact he’s coming off of ACL surgery means we’ll have plenty of better options than Patton for 2014.
2014 SC Projection: 60-66
2012 SC Average: 62.4
2013 SC Average: 72.7
Starting Price: 392K
While 2013 was a disappointing year for the Giants, it was a very good year for Cameron, seeing him play 21 games and rank 3rd on the Coleman Medal ladder with an impressive 62 goals to his name. Cameron also ranked 9th for Total Marks inside 50, averaging 2.2 per game. Started off 2013 slowly, only kicking more than 1 goal once in his first 4 games, from Round 5 onwards kicking multiple goals in all but one game, which was in Round 22 against Richmond, a game so deplorable it saw him only record 2 kicks and 2 Supercoach points, which itself made his year average drop by almost 4 points. He did hit a month long rich vein of form between Rounds 16-19 where he averaged 105.25 SC points, which was a real teaser of what he may be capable of in a few years time once his fully develops.
And that’s the biggest key for Cameron, he’s still a few years away from becoming dominate KPF (which is scary since he just kicked 62 goals for the year), highlighted by the fact that he was involved in the 4th most contests of any forward in the AFL and only won 19% of them, which was the 4th lowest winning percentage of the top 50. As stated before though, there’s still a bit of uncertainty to where the GWS bigs will be playing, it seems unthinkable that they’d move Cameron down back after kicking 62 goals, but there’s more than a few who think it’s a possibility. For now, we’ll skip on Cameron, but I do think he’ll have a better year in 2014 if he stays up forward, but there are also a few more cheaper options available if you really want to pick a KPF for your Supercoach forward line in 2014.
2014 SC Projection: 72-78
2012 SC Average: 72.4
2013 SC Average: 62.8
Starting Price: 338.6K
2013 was a tough year for Davis, missing 9 games through injury and suffering from being the key bigman in defence for the Giants. Davis was involved in the 3rd most one on one contests for the Giants, even with missing 9 games, and managed pretty well, only being beaten twice. Saw his disposal average fall from 14.9 in 2012 to 12.8 in 2013; he also had decreases in Rebound 50’s, Intercept Marks and Tackles.
I’m sure it’s tough for Davis being matched up against the oppositions best forwards every week and not having any major backup, he should be helped a bit as Aiden Corr develops as the #2 man next to him, but the majority of key defenders have always been no go zones in Supercoach and Davis will be no different in 2014.
2014 SC Projection: 64-70
2012 SC Average: 93.2
2013 SC Average: 75.0
Starting Price: 404.3K
Giles had a terrific rookie year in 2012, but was unable to backup his scores in 2013, seeing his average fall almost 18 points for the year. He actually won more hitouts for the year, going from 22.1 in 2012 to 24.3 in 2013, and also increased his hitouts to advantage from 5.5 in 2012 to 6.3 in 2013. It was his other work around the ground that failed him, with his disposal count dropping from 14.3 in 2012 to 10.5 in 2013 and his kicking efficiency dropping to an abysmal 46.9%, down almost 12% from his 58.2% he posted in 2012. He also posted less contested possessions, down to 7.5 per game, even though his actual contested possession % increased from 65.1% in 2012 to 75.3% in 2013. He also averaged less marks as well falling from 3.5 to 1.4 for the year.
Now normally we’d say “Well, maybe he can turn it back around next year!”, but that is looking increasingly unlikely to happen in 2014 with Shane Mumford being brought in to take over the #1 ruckman spot. So not only is his spot not guaranteed for next year at this stage, he’ll also be lucky to post similar stats for the year if he’s sharing ruck duties with Mumford. Giles 2013 stats were very similar to Mike Pyke’s 2013 stats, stats he scored sharing ruck duties with Mumford, whereas Giles were scored as the solo ruckman, which doesn’t exactly look that great as a comparison. Giles is a good ruckman when he’s at his best, but the addition of Mumford has most likely made him an irrelevant player in Supercoach and one to avoid at his price.
2014 SC Projection: 68-74
2012 SC Average: N/A
2013 SC Average: 73.0
Starting Price: 393.8K
Was probably overshadowed a bit in 2013 by the terrific form of the 17 year old draft picks Jaeger O’Meara and Brad Crouch, Whitfield had a very solid year for the Giants, averaging 17.5 disposals, 5.4 marks, 1.3 clearances, 2.2 tackles and 73 Supercoach Points, a number which was the 3rd highest of any #1 pick in the past decade.
Another Giant who found most of the ball as an outside player, his contested possession rate of 24.9% was the lowest of any Giants player who played more than 3 games and was the 3rd lowest of the 130 players who played more than 5 games and averaged 17+ disposals, those sort of uncontested possession rates aren’t going to see him rack up huge scores. Scored above 100 three times in 2013, with a 100 in Round 2, 110 in Round 15 and 141 in Round 19 (the only game the Giants won for the year), those 3 games he had disposal counts of 20, 21 and 26, but saw his scores boosted by grabbing 9, 9 and 10 marks.
Whitfield will be a very good player for the Giants, but I don’t see a ton of improvement on the horizon this season, and we’ll have a few more options in the high 390K, low 400K mark who’ll be looking more likely to put up bigger scores in 2014.
2014 SC Projection: 75-81
Quick list of lower ranked players to keep your eyes on during pre-season
Matthew Buntine -DEF – 259.3K
Tom Downie – RUCK – 123.9K
Curtly Hampton – MID – 350.3K
And that’s it for the GWS Giants. That wasn’t so bad was it? They’ll be an interesting side going into 2014 as it’s still tough to see how they’ll go with who plays up forward, if they’ll move one of Patton or Cameron back to make way for Boyd and if they’ll also play the 2 big ruckman also. Now the question is, are there any GWS players who’ve caught your eye, or will you be steering clear of most like I plan on?
Whack a comment in the section below or hit us up on the Twitters @BarronVonCrow and let me know.